Australia CBCA Book of The Year (YA)Older Readers Short List

Book Week’s coming up and the Book of the Year short list is here. Let’s check out the Book of the year short list.


The Flywheel by Erin Gough

The Flywheel
Seventeen-year-old Del drops out of high school when her romance with another girl goes horribly wrong. Preferring chaos to bullying, Del makes it her mission to save her dad’s crumbling café, the Flywheel, while he ‘finds himself’ overseas.

Accompanied by her charming troublemaker best friend Charlie, Del sets out to save the cafe, keep Charlie out of prison, and maybe get a date with Rosa, the beautiful flamenco dancer from across the road. But when life is messy enough as it is, can girl-on-girl romance ever have a happy ending?

The Flywheel is a hilarious book about falling in love and being heartbroken. Erin Gough writes a beautiful and humourous book with a LGBT main character.


Freedom of Rise by Sue Lawson

Freedom Ride

Robbie knows bad things happen in Walgaree. But it’s nothing to do with him. That’s just the way the Aborigines have always been treated. In the summer of 1965 racial tensions in the town are at boiling point, and something headed Walgaree’s way will blow things apart. It’s time for Robbie to take a stand. Nothing will ever be the same.

The Freedom Ride is one of the most important times in aboriginal history. Freedom Ride explores prejudice and racism targeted towards aboriginal teens. The australian equivalent to ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’.


The Pause by John Larkin

The Pause

Declan seems to have it all: a family that loves him, friends he’s known for years, a beautiful girlfriend he would go to the ends of the earth for.

But there’s something in Declan’s past that just won’t go away, that pokes and scratches at his thoughts when he’s at his most vulnerable. Declan feels as if nothing will take away that pain that he has buried deep inside for so long. So he makes the only decision he thinks he has left: the decision to end it all.

Or does he? As the train approaches and Declan teeters at the edge of the platform, two versions of his life are revealed. In one, Declan watches as his body is destroyed and the lives of those who loved him unravel. In the other, Declan pauses before he jumps. And this makes all the difference.

One moment. One pause. One whole new life.

A beautiful story dealing with anxiety and depression. John Larkin is genius writer and writes a complex story about suicide and mental disorder. Declan is sensitive caring soul that every suicidal teen can associate with.


A Single Stone by Meg McKinlay

A Single Stone

Every girl dreams of being part of the line—the chosen seven who tunnel deep into the mountain to find the harvest. No work is more important.

Jena is the leader of the line—strong, respected, reliable. And—as all girls must be—she is small; years of training have seen to that. It is not always easy but it is the way of things. And so a girl must wrap her limbs, lie still, deny herself a second bowl of stew. Or a first.

Meg McKinlay writes a masterpiece full of twists and turns to keep you hooked. The story deals with making difficult decisions and the survival of the majority. Jena is a strong independent character and is good role model.


Inbetween Days by Vikki Wakefield

Sixteen-year-old Jacklin Bates (aka “Jack”) believes the only way to soar beyond her life is to drop out of school and move in with her free-spirited sister, Trudy. But Jack quickly discovers her sister isn’t the same person she used to be. And when Jack loses her job and the boy she loves breaks her heart, she becomes desperate for distractions.

She strikes up an unlikely friendship with Pope, a lost soul camping in the forest behind her house. And then there’s Jeremiah, the boy next door with a kind, listening ear and plenty of troubles of his own. Together, over an endless summer, Jack and Jeremiah fix up the abandoned drive-in theater at the edge of town. But even as a fragile romance builds between them, Jack knows deep down that she can’t stay in limbo forever.

A gritty, heartfelt read for teens and adult readers alike. Jack is multi-dimensional character who makes a couple of bad decisions, echoing many problems that teens face. A must read.


Cloudwish by Fiona Wood


For Vân Uoc Phan, fantasies fall into two categories: nourishing, or pointless. Daydreaming about Billy Gardiner, for example? Pointless. It always left her feeling sick, as though she’d eaten too much sugar.

Vân Uoc doesn’t believe in fairies, zombies, vampires, Father Christmas – or magic wishes. She believes in keeping a low profile: real life will start when school finishes.

But when she attracts the attention of Billy Gardiner, she finds herself in an unwelcome spotlight…

The plot might sound clichéd but it works, believe me. Vân Uoc is an Asian australian girl with a knack for skepticism. A feel-good YA novel.